Dany NOBUS : Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis

Publication Information : Book Title : Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis. Contributors : Dany Nobus – author. Publisher : Routledge. Place of Publication : London. Publication Year : 2000.

Preface by the author

At the close of this century, and nearly twenty years after his death, the figure of Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) continues to spark fierce controversy. Worshipped by a pleiad of followers in France, Spain, Italy and large parts of South America, Lacan has grown into a thoroughbred Western Zenmaster whose thought-provoking statements (‘Loving is to give what one does not have’, ‘Woman does not exist’, ‘There is no such thing as a sexual relationship’) provide many scholars with theoretical tools to dissect the insecurities of contemporary society and their pathological effects. People are often drawn to Lacan’s ideas because their enigmatic, provocative and uncompromising character is strangely appealing, and many students engage with Lacan’s works following the principle ‘I haven’t got a clue, but I like it’, simultaneously hoping to derive some universal wisdom from the opaque texts. From another angle, Lacan has been perceived by hardnosed scientists as the ultimate paragon of post-modern discourse. They see him alternatively as a highly unpalatable character who fluttered and flaunted without saying anything sensible, or a pretentious shrink suffering from the delusion that he was a genius. For who else but a madman would have the nerve to pontificate at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology that human beings think with their feet (and sometimes with their forehead muscles), rather than with their brains ?

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